Lowering Costs: Michigan State Senator Introduces Bill to Lower Price of Meds

GRAND RAPIDS — Senator Winnie Brinks is being hailed by advocates for lower prescription drug prices for her common sense legislation that would lower the price of meds for Michiganders across the state and for numerous drugs.

Senate Bill 889 would create a prescription drug pricing board and a prescription drug affordability stakeholder council. The effect of the bill would be lower the cost of needed medications by establishing and upper payment limit that would keep prices down.

The legislation introduced by Senator Brinks along with other pieces of legislation would establish a drug affordability review boards to determine certain rates, set spending targets, and limit how much residents pay for certain high-cost drugs.

“The cost of prescription drugs has been rising for far too long. Establishing a Michigan Prescription Drug Affordability Board can directly reduce costs because it will act with the necessary oversight and transparency to do so,” said Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “The legislation unveiled today is a key component to helping those most at the mercy of these high prices — consumers — as well as other actors in the prescription drug supply chain who play a role in the final price we pay. Ultimately, this will rein in exorbitant prices and help get these prescription drugs to more people who need them.”

How Would a Prescription Drug Affordability Board Work?

A PDAB would determine what consumers will pay and suppliers can charge for vital drugs. The board would balance consumer affordability with revenue needs of suppliers – revenues that allow service improvements.

Why is a Prescription Drug Affordability Board Important?

As the prices of drugs continue to escalate, more and more people are unable to afford life saving drugs. Drug prices consistently rise faster than inflation and rise higher than other consumer goods. As a result, drugs are increasingly unaffordable for the average consumer. A PDAB with statewide authority to set upper payment limits for some high cost/high spend drugs can help patients, payers, purchasers, and providers manage this increasingly challenging situation.

“To have some peace of mind when it comes to the cost of prescription drugs, regardless of whether you have insurance or not, would be of great benefit to myself and millions of other Americans,” said Sheila Nicholas, an Okemos resident. “Our prescriptions are necessary to our well-being. They should not be so unattainable for so many.”



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